The Monmouth County Board of Freeholders is continuing to pursue its stated goal to acquire and preserve properties throughout the region.

At their meeting on June 26, the freeholders took action on three properties in western Monmouth County.

First, the freeholders authorized a county cost share for a development easement purchase in Millstone Township by the Monmouth County Agriculture Development Board.

In a resolution, the freeholders said Raymond and Jean Peplowski’s farm at 503 Stagecoach Road “is a targeted farm under the Municipal Planning Incentive Grant program due to its soil quality, tillable acreage and minimal structural improvements, characteristics which are vital to aspiring or expanding farmers.”

The farm is in close proximity to a number of preserved farms, including the Mattei and Karl properties, in addition to the Assunpink Wildlife Management Area and municipal parkland, according to the resolution.

The acquisition of the development easement – an action which will preclude development from taking place at the site – will be a joint venture of Monmouth County, Millstone Township and the state.

The property on which the easement will be acquired totals 8.6 acres. The estimated cost of the easement will be $301,000, to be divided in the following manner: $180,600 to be paid by the state; $72,240 to be paid by the county; and $48,160 to be paid by the township, according to the resolution.

There are no residences or agricultural housing units in the net easement area on the Peplowski farm.

In a second action, the freeholders authorized the acquisition of a 2-acre parcel at 194 Ely-Harmony Road, Freehold Township, for additions to Turkey Swamp Park. The county’s offer of $400,000 has been accepted by owners Michael and Kathleen Grasso, according to a resolution.

The Monmouth County Board of Recreation Commissioners deemed it “necessary and advisable to acquire and preserve certain lands and property for county open space preservation, natural resources conservation and public park and recreation purposes,” according to the resolution.

The recreation commissioners recommended the purchase of the property on Ely-Harmony Road to the freeholders.

Finally, the freeholders authorized the acquisition of two lots that form an 18.74-acre parcel at 24 Stoney Brook Trail, off Fort Plains Road, Howell, for additions to the Metedeconk River Greenway.

The county’s offer of $1.03 million for the land has been accepted by owner CJR Properties, LLC, according to a resolution.

The recreation commissioners recommended the purchase of the parcels to the freeholders “for county open space preservation, natural resources conservation and public park and recreation purposes.”

According to the Monmouth County Park System website, the 444-acre Metedeconk River Greenway “protects water quality and wildlife habitat along the Metedeconk River, a natural border between Monmouth and Ocean counties.

“The greenway helps protect and buffer floodplains from adjacent land use and development. The park system is preserving land along the Metedeconk stream corridor in conjunction with similar efforts in the Ocean County portion of the watershed. Currently, there is no establish parking for this site,” according to the park system’s website.

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